According to the EQSQ I have an extreme male brain, more male than 94% of the population, which personally I think is quite impressive for a girl.  However, what comes with that is a rather large helping of alexithymia, which is not knowing how you feel or how to explain it to others.  It seemes to be part of having Asperger’s Syndrome.  I don’t know if this is a bit like what it is like to be a neurotypical male, but I certainly get rather pissed off if people want me to tell them how I feel.

I know I’m sad when I want to hug people.  I tend to discover what I’m sad about because I cry when I talk about it.

I know I’m happy when I have a strong desire to say ‘squee‘ and clap my fingers together.  I find out that I am happy about something because people tell me, “you started smiling when you said that”.

I find it *so* helpful when other people tell me how I *look* like I feel, but very few people do.  So if I look upset one day, help my hemispheres to communicate: tell me I look upset and ask me if my right hemisphere is giving a thumbs up.

© Catastraspie, 2011.


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12 Responses to Alexithymia

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  2. Quarries and Corridors says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Having very little awareness of my own emotions until they’re manifesting as crying or shouting was one of the things that convinced me I probably have an autistic spectrum condition rather than just dyspraxia or NVLD. I haven’t seen very many other people describing this in the way I experience it, so thanks again 🙂

    • catastraspie says:

      It’s great to connect with someone else who experiences this, because most people I talk to don’t know what I’m talking about. I used to think I suppressed my emotions (because that’s what a counsellor told me), but it’s not that at all. I carry on until I’m overwhelmed because I often don’t know there’s anything going on until it’s snuck up on me. 🙂

      • Quarries and Corridors says:

        Yes it’s really is great to find someone else, this doesn’t seem to be a universal problem for aspies but it’s probably my biggest issue outside of my job and housework. I explained this to the OT at my screening assessment on Wednesday and it seems very poor awareness of ones own emotions is considered a very positive sign when screening for if it’s worth doing a full Asperger’s assessment (they decided it was definitely worth continuing to screen me).

  3. A Quiet Week says:

    Whee! I learned a new word (Alexithymia) and enjoyed the read. I took the EQSQ some time ago, although I cannot remember my score, I do recall being more “masculine” than typical females.

    I have trouble dealing with “girly” girls–the social subtlties are too difficult and I have little tolerance for emotional conversation. I’d like just the facts, please!

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  6. Deb Johnson says:

    One of my sisters (oh, bless her) told me some years ago that she thought me emotions made me ill. She is very unexpressive and prefers to speak rudely or derogatively rather than share her thoughts of feelings. I was hurt by the comment, because I value my own ability to emote… But it is likely true that I am unsure what emotion I embody sometimes. My husband has real difficulty identifying his own feelings and often expressions wander across his face quite quickly, as it seems to be trying to ‘line up’ with what’s going on inside! I have trouble reading what people think or feel and know I have quite a male brain in some ways. All very interesting, hopefully useful to know. I like the word ‘squee’ because that’s the sound House Martens make as they whizz about!

    • catastraspie says:

      I didn’t know that! Thanks for your comment. It made me wonder whether your sister has difficulty identifying her own emotions and has difficulty understanding yours…?

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